What the Uprising Means

by Salim Tamari
published in MER152

This article is adapted from a talk Salim Tamari gave at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC on February 25, 1988.

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Abu Farid's House

Family and Politics in Shift

by Beshara Doumani
published in MER157

Driving to Salfit through the villages of Yasuf and Iskaka on a sunny fall day is an exhilarating experience. The asphalt road winds like a snake through hill after hill dotted by olive trees whose clusters of tiny, pastel green leaves shimmer in the light breeze. Rich brown earth, freshly turned, is strewn with stones and contoured by terraces. Closer to the road, thorny shrubs, grasses and the lazy, bleached branches of fig trees leisurely soak in the sun, anticipating the impending winter.

Uprising in Gaza

by Anita Vitullo Khoury
published in MER152

One year before the Palestinian mass uprising began, the writing was on the grey cement walls of refugee camp houses in Gaza, where you could read the anguish of Gaza camp residents at the spectacle of the Amal militia bombarding Palestinians in the camps in Lebanon. These attacks forged a real unity among Palestinian factions there and carried Palestinians here into street demonstrations -- as much against Amal’s assault as against Israel’s “iron fist.”

Israeli military authorities must have sensed that resistance was about to escalate; when demonstrations became irritatingly frequent, they increased punitive measures and violence against Gaza Strip residents, particularly against boys between 13 and 20 years old.

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Children's Territory

by John Berger
published in MER157

Given the same materials and the same opportunities, young chiliren all over the world paint in a similar way. They don’ necessarily paint the jame things. (Eskimo children will saint different animals from the chilIren in the Sudan.) What is similar is :he way young children make intuitive narks on the paper -- a question of space, gestures, proportion, even color.

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Morning in Ramallah Military Court

by Penny Johnson , Lee O'Brien
published in MER152

The main street was completely deserted on the way to Ramallah Military Headquarters the morning of February 25. It was the second day of a general strike called for in the eighth statement by the United National Leadership to protest the visit of Secretary of State George Shultz. Few people were even walking on this sunny winter day; the occasional car sped by, any driver aware he would be considered a strikebreaker.

The West Bank Rises Up

by Penny Johnson , Lee O'Brien
published in MER152

Ramallah’s landscape this February 21 has overtones of a war zone. Residents have dismantled the ancient stone wall across the street for a series of barricades. The smoke of a burning tire rises in the clear early afternoon air over nearby al-Am‘ari refugee camp and army flares light the camp at night. The camp’s main entrance has been sealed by a wall of cement-filled barrels. Helicopters chop the air overhead; sirens of ambulances and army jeeps pierce streets that are virtually deserted this afternoon, ordinarily a busy time of day. In camps and villages, even the winter nights are the scenes of sharp confrontation.

Palestinian Expression Inside a Cultural Ghetto

by Kamal Boullata
published in MER159

During the summer of 1986,1 spent a month in the West Bank, keen to learn for myself about the effects of Israeli restrictions on Palestinian forms of expression, particularly in the visual arts and local crafts. A quick look at different cultural products indicated that traditional aesthetic values have for some time been rapidly eroding. Alternative aesthetic values were more often than not crudely colored by the reactive rhetoric intrinsic to the cultural ghetto created by the occupation. I set out to explore for myself the process that brings into being products which stir a sense of pride among Palestinians living under occupation, and to understand the components that endow these cultural products with their uniquely Palestinian character.

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Who's Afraid of Mahmoud Darwish?

by Ammiel Alcalay
published in MER154

Under normal circumstances, Arabic literature of any kind passes virtually unnoticed in Israel, despite the fact that a few of the most well-known contemporary Arab writers are Israeli citizens. But the publication of “Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words,” a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian national poet adopted by the Israeli “peace camp” as a “moderate” (and himself a former Israeli citizen), has sparked a furor across the entire political spectrum.

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Notes on Palestinian Political Leadership

The "Personalities" of the Occupied Territories

by Ziad Abu 'Amr
published in MER154

The question of Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza is one of the key issues in the effort to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israel has systematically suppressed political expression in the Occupied Territories, deporting or imprisoning local leaders as they emerge. The Palestinians, for their part, insist that the “correct address” of their representatives is the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), based outside the territories.

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The PLO and the Uprising

by Rashid Khalidi
published in MER154

For many years, for many people, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict consisted primarily of the struggle between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, a struggle waged mainly outside of Palestine. The uprising in the Occupied Territories has firmly fixed the attention of the world on events within Palestine’s frontiers. While the Palestinians inside insist that they have no representative other than the PLO, that they are one with the PLO, they have also shown that they, the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, are fully capable of leading the struggle against the occupation. This marks a new development in the dynamic of relations between Palestinians in the diaspora and those inside the Occupied Territories.

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